In the neighbourhood...

A sold sticker sprawls across a real estate billboard on one street, then another. Change is happening around here.

A business woman walks down the street ladened with briefcase and laptop. Running to her are two little boys with bright red hair. Big hugs from one. Then a plea from the mother for a hug from the other. The little one squeezes so hard she almost topples over.

A family packs their car with stroller, picnic rugs and bags.

A man wearing a suit carries his garbage bins on his back like Santa up a set of sandstone stairs to the front of his house.

A learner driver cautiously navigates the roundabout, his mother pointing and commenting on his driving.

A man climbs over his own fence, dusts himself off and then walks in to the front of his house.

A different man takes his garbage can in.

A TV blasts the evening news out onto the street for all to hear.

A couple more billboards stand out promoting the water views and recent renovations.

A few kids, still in their school uniforms, play on the footpath and front lawn of their house. With what it does not matter, they are playing, that’s what counts.

A bus filled with commuters picks up speed as it rushes down the hill to take people home.

A seemingly old man, a possibly young lady, a mother and child all stroll into the corner shop to pick up some groceries.

A couple of bike commuters wait at the intersection to turn when the cars pass by.

A group of four people play tennis while across the street golfers casually finish their afternoon games.

A table fills with early patrons enjoying a beer or a wine at the local restaurant.

A long queue of cars, buses and trucks snake their way along the freeway in the evening rush hour traffic.

A tree filled with lorikeets almost drown out the sound of my own thinking.

A toy Tonka truck sits amidst a vine on top of a wooden fence.

A breeze carries with it the scent of rain in the air.

A for lease sign with a leased sticker states the obvious or reminds a few they are too late.

A waft of garlic, sesame seed oil and ginger lingers in the air from a kitchen nearby.

A magpie calls across the valley for it’s mate signalling another end to the day.

A lady in a bright green dress and no shoes chats to her neighbours about a hedge needing a trim.

A storm approaches gradually blanketing the sky in a water wash of grey blue clouds.

A man holds a leash while his dogs curiously leads the way along a path in the bush.

A group of commuter cyclists race by in a row of 10 nodding their heads in appreciation for being allowed to pass.

A symphony of voices rise above the eucalyptus trees from the nearby outdoor basketball courts.

A minute, hour, day passes by and no one notices.

A middle aged woman cycling with a smile on her face finally arrives back home. She is joyfully aware that life goes on all around her. Life is truly beautiful in its simplicity and realness. She appreciates the gift of noticing.

Jenn Shallvey